New in from Trigger Publishing: 'Must Try Harder: Adventures in Anxiety'*
The title of this book raised my hackles a little, as myself, and so many other people who have suffered from anxiety, have been told that if we just tried a bit harder, we'd *actually* be able to do things. Thankfully this was not what this book was about at all. The author uses this phrase in her own blog, a precursor to the book called 'Paula Must Try Harder' to subvert the negativity that people with mental illnesses have had thrown at them, using it in a fairly comedic way to document her fight against anxiety.
Paula McGuire had severe debilitating anxiety for the majority of her childhood, leading into her adult life. As a child, it started to express itself in the form of excessive blinking. With a loving family surrounding her, Paula was taken to the doctors repeatedly to find the issue behind the blinking, but nothing could be found. For far too long, Paula's anxiety went undiagnosed as being 'just the way she is', which happens all too often.
As Paula grew older, her world became smaller. Closed in by her anxiety, eventually she came to realise that it was time for a bit of a change. Inspired by the upcoming Commonwealth games, Paula pushed herself to have a go at each of the 17 sports involved. Yes, it was hard: anxiety isn't cured overnight. But, with a strong support network behind her, Paula eventually accomplished giving each and every one of these a go. And she didn't stop there: she listed everything she'd ever wanted to do and started working through it.
I loved this book far, far more than I ever thought I would. Paula is an incredible writer, and had me constantly coming back for more. Most importantly however, I found myself feeling genuinely inspired to get out there and tackle things that I've always wanted to do, but have put off for 'some day'. I'm going to have a whole other blog post on all the things this has inspired me to try, and my plans to tackle my own anxiety to get them done!
*Although I was gifted this book for the purpose of a review, all opinions are my own*